Ruthless Maori thrash Japan

Date published: November 1 2014

James-Lowe-of-the-Maori-All-Blacks-v-Japan_3223525

The Maori All Blacks put on a counter-attacking masterclass to hammer a brave but error prone Japan side 61-21in Kobe on Saturday.

The Maori All Blacks put on a counter-attacking masterclass to hammer a brave but error-prone Japan side 61-21 at Noevir Stadium in Kobe on Saturday.

A run of 10 successive Test victories had propelled the Brave Blossom into the world’s top 10 for the first time but they offered little resistance to the visitors, who entertained a crowd of 21,000 with a new haka before the game.

Far from being outmuscled, the hosts enjoyed plenty of possession and territory but were made to pay for every mistake as the Maori ran in a number of long-range tries.

Indeed, Japan dominated the statistics in all the key areas, but they were no match for the power and speed of the Kiwi attacking as the Maori outscored their hosts eight tries to three.

In the first game of a two-match series, the visitors led 35-7 at half time with Jason Emery scoring two of the Maori’s four tries before the interval.

As a sign of their improvement up front, the Brave Blossoms earned two penalty tries – one for having a rolling maul pulled down and another at scrum time.

But the Maori were sublime with ball in hand, ruthlessly ripping the Japanese defence at every opportunity.

The visitors raced to a 25-0 lead early on. Ihaia West got off to a shaky start from the kicking tee but rampaging loosehead prop Chris Eves, showed great pace to charge over for the first try.

Eves also produced a great off-load to put Manawatu team-mate away for a try from 50m out before Auckland flanker Sean Polwart score under the posts as Japan looked shell-shocked.

The hosts came storming back however and deserved the penalty try as their rolling maul looked sure to rumble over before it was dragged down.

The Maori All Blacks scored again before the break as the impressive Emery latched onto Robbie Robinson’s kick ahead.

Japan started the second half well but conceded another long-range try when James Lowe raced away before offloading to West, who finished the 90m effort.

Japan’s second try was a top effort as Tongan-born Amanaki Lelei Mafi scored under the posts but the visitors struck straight back when Nehe Milner-Skudder, scored in the corner.

Maori skipper Charlie Ngatai raced away from try number seven before Japanese scrum was rewarded with penalty try.

James Lowe added a the cherry on the cake with fine individual effort in the dying minutes.

The visitors raced to a 25-0 lead early on. Ihaia West got off to a shaky start from the kicking tee but rampaging loosehead prop Chris Eves, showed great pace to charge over for the first try.

Eves also produced a great off-load to put Manawatu team-mate away for a try from 50m out before Auckland flanker Sean Polwart score under the posts as Japan looked shell-shocked.

The hosts came storming back however and deserved the penalty try as their rolling maul looked sure to rumble over before it was dragged down.

The Maori All Blacks scored again before the break as the impressive Emery latched onto Robbie Robinson’s kick ahead.

Japan started the second half well but conceded another long-range try when James Lowe raced away before offloading to West, who finished the 90m effort.

Japan’s second try was a top effort as Tongan-born Amanaki Lelei Mafi scored under the posts but the visitors struck straight back when Nehe Milner-Skudder, scored in the corner.

Maori skipper Charlie Ngatai raced away from try number seven before Japanese scrum was rewarded with penalty try.

James Lowe added a the cherry on the cake with fine individual effort in the dying minutes.

The scorers:

For Japan:
Tries: Penalty try 2, Lelei Mafi
Cons: Goromaru 3

For NZ Maori:
Tries: Eves, Emery 2, Polwart, West, Milner-Skudder, Ngatai, Lowe
Cons: West 6
Pens: West 3
Yellow card: McKenzie

Japan:15 Ayumu Goromaru, 14 Kotaro Matsushima, 13 Harumichi Tatekawa, 12 Male Sau, 11 Akihito Yamada, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Atsushi Hiwasa, 8 Hayden Hopgood, 7 Michael Leitch, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Shoji Ito, 4 Luke Thompson, 3 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 2 Takeshi Kizu, 1 Masataka Mikami.
Replacements: 16 Keita Inagaki, 17 Hiroki Yuhara, 18 Shinnosuke Kakinaga, 19 Shinya Makabe, 20 Amanaki Lelei Mafi, 21 Keisuke Uchida, 22 Kosei Ono, 23 Karne Hesketh.

New Zealand Maori: 15 Robbie Robinson, 14 Matt Proctor, 13 Jason Emery, 12 Charlie Ngatai (c) 11 James Lowe, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Chris Smylie, 8 Elliot Dixon, 7 Sean Polwart, 6 Blade Thomson, 5 Hayden Triggs, 4 Tom Franklin, 3 Mike Kainga, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Chris Eves.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Brendon Edmonds, 18 Nick Barrett, 19 Nick Crosswell, 20 Dan Pryor, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Nehe Milner-Skudder.

Venue: Noevir Stadium, Kobe
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardne (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
Television match official: George Ayoub (Australia)

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